Deborah Joan Kanter of Montclair, a teacher and mentor, died on Friday, March 12, 2021, with her cat, Clyde, by her side, after a brief battle with COVID-19 and just days away from receiving her first vaccination. She was 70.
Born in 1950 in Paterson, she was a graduate of Upsala College (B.A., English), Seton Hall University (M.A., English) and Georgian Court University (B.A., holistic health).
Ms. Kanter spent her life in her home state, learning, studying, teaching, mentoring and volunteering in the community. She was a trained holistic health educator, teaching stress reduction in schools, workplaces, wellness facilities and individually.
She taught qigong for wellness, was trained in reiki, and was a provider of many wellness therapies. She was also a writer, editor and proofreader with a strong background in journalism.
As a survivor of colorectal cancer, Ms. Kanter was active in the Fight Colorectal Cancer organization, CauseHealth and the Colorectal Cancer Alliance.
She spent the last dozen or so years as an adjunct instructor of English at Hudson County Community College in Jersey City, where she was well known for being a dynamic teacher and mentor by her students and fellow professors.
Ms. Kanter loved music (Leonard Cohen), art, literature and nature. She enjoyed being able to attend the art exhibits at the Montclair Art Museum, and she regularly visited the Van Vleck gardens and Verona Park, where she did walking meditations and practiced qigong.
She will be remembered by her friends for her love for Clyde, her orange, opinionated cat. She will also be remembered as a champion for the groundhog, claiming it as one of her totem animals. She strongly objected to Groundhog Day and the irreverent way the animals were treated on TV.
Ms. Kanter is survived by her sister, Audrey (David) Bittman of Florida, a niece, a nephew and a host of friends and former students with whom she celebrated life.
She was preceded in death by her son, Eli, as well as her parents, Mildred and Marvin.
A gathering of friends will take place at a later time to honor her life. In lieu of flowers, people are asked to donate to PAWS, pawsmontclair.org.
Arrangements were by Caggiano Memorial Home for Funerals.